§ MR. HOBHOUSE (Somerset, E.)
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether he has considered the effect of the recent decision in the Warminster case (with respect to the maintenance of urban streets and footpaths); and whether, in view of the fact that during the passage of the Local Government Bill, ho more than once assured the House (see Hansard, vol. 327, pp, 1667, 1752), that it was not intended by the Act to throw upon the County Councils the whole cost of maintaining urban streets and footpaths, he will now consider the advisability of legislating to define the law and carry out the intention of the Local Government Act?
§ * THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. RITCHIE,) Tower Hamlets, St. George's
I have as yet only seen a newspaper report of the judgment in the case referred to. From that report it would appear that the Court placed an interpretation on Sections 13 and 15 of the Highways and Locomotives Amendment Act, 1878, entirely different from that which was usually adopted by the Local Authorities prior to the passing of the Local Government Act. The judgment, as I understand it from that report, is that the liability to maintain footways devolved on the County Authority under the Act of 1878, and that as the powers of the County Authority under that Act have been transferred to the County Council, the like liability now attaches to them. I am not aware whether it is the intention to bring the question before the Court of Appeal. At present, I can only state that the question will be further considered by the Government when they have seen a full report of the judgment in the case.